UAAP Season 81 Rookie of the Year Eya Laure knows full well how to juggle her responsibilities to the country and her studies.
University of Santo Tomas coach Kungfu Reyes can attest to the student-athlete finding just the right balance between her academic and extracurricular priorities, as the lone college player in the 15-woman national volleyball pool.
Reyes, who is also part of the national team coaching staff, bared that the university always has the sophomore travel management student's back.
"We have very young talent na desidido, gustung-gustong maglaro sa national team," Reyes says, adding that school still comes first.. "Maraming gustong maglaro pero nagkakatalo lang sa prior commitment nila. Si Eya kasi may studies, so hindi siya pwedeng mag-absent ng two weeks. Pero at least 'yung tournament papatak ng weekend. so hindi siya absent [ng matagal]."
Laure and Reyes are set to leave for Thailand on Sunday to join the rest of the national team in the national team's 12-day training camp in Bangkok, followed by the Southeast Asian Grand Prix from September 20 to 22 at Nakhon Ratchasima.
"Oo, siyempre calling ng bansa. Alam mo naman ang UST pagdating sa ganyan [national team], even dati pa naman, wala pa tayo dito may ganyan nang tradition," says the UST mentor. "[The university] produces national team athletes and they allow na mag-join. ‘Yun nga si [EJ] Obiena, first Olympian. Kami naman sa military basta tinawag ng bansa, anytime, pupunta kami."